The nostalgia that this recipe triggers is almost unbearable. I remember a time when I was still at school - a stage in my life where a chocolate doughnut was acceptable at 11am. I always got away with eating terribly unhealthy food and people always used to joke about where I put it, as i never used to gain weight. As i grew up i began to think about diet a little more, but not nearly as much as i ought to have. In my opinion, there is not enough food education available to children and i never really thought about healthy eating. I never gained weight, so there was never much urgency in me becoming healthy.
The memories that flood back when i think of chilli jam are embarrassing to say the least. Along with the discovery of alcohol came the side effect of ‘drunk munch’. Not only did it become acceptable to eat copious amounts of food just hours before you’d usually be waking up, it became almost mandatory. I grew up in the countryside, out in the sticks just outside of Bath. My best friend, Olivia, lived in town, so we always crashed at her house after a night out. I used to tell myself it was for convenience and ease, but looking back I’m beginning to think it probably had something to do with her mum’s homemade chilli jam. We’d get home, have some chilli jam, some cheese and some tea (a combination only acceptable/appetising when entirely under the influence) and put the world to rights.
+ Tomatoes are abundant in antioxidants and their rich, red colour indicates their high content of lycopene. Lycopene has been proven to protect against diseases such as prostate and breast cancer, and supports healthy cellular functions in the skin, reducing roughness and making the skin smoother and more vibrant. When levels of lycopene are high in the body, oxidative damage is reduced, which in turn reduces inflammation.
Makes one medium jar of jam
200g Cherry Tomatoes
One Fresh Chilli, chopped
1-2 Teaspoons Chilli Flakes
100g Goji Berries
2 Red Peppers
1 Teaspoon Grated Fresh Ginger or Ground Ginger
1 Clove Garlic, crushed
1 Tablespoon Chia Seeds
1 Teaspoon Apple Cider Vinegar
1/4 Cup Agave, Organic Honey or Coconut Palm Sugar
2 Tablespoons Fresh Orange Juice
Chop the tomatoes, chilli and peppers and add them to a medium saucepan with the goji berries and a splash of water. Leave them to simmer on a low heat, stirring continuously. After about 10 minutes, add the rest of the ingredients to the pan. Leave to simmer for about 20-30 minutes, stirring continuously so the mixture doesn’t stick to the pan. After about 30 minutes, you should be able to draw a line through the mixture with a wooden spoon. If the mixture is too wet, the line will disappear, so continue to simmer until the mixture thickens.
Once it seems thick enough, you can either run the mixture through your blender to bake it smoother, or leave it as it is. It won’t be very chunky at all as the vegetables will have become completely immersed.
Season to taste. If you like it a little sweeter, add more honey or coconut sugar. Store in an airtight container in the fridge.